Hurricane Ike Recovery

Refinery Plant

PRESS RELEASE Hurricane Ike Recovery

2009-03-01 | by Neil Blahut, MTS World Gulf Coast

Last June, MTS World Gulf Coast began a project to "localize" ExxonMobil Global Manufacturing Training modules for the Beaumont, Texas Ethylene Unit in the Olefins Plant. And then on September 12, Hurricane Ike hit the area with a vengeance; devastating the entire region, including the Olefins Plant. It and others nearby were flooded by the storm surge - to the tune of up to 10 feet of water. Naturally that meant a huge clean-up and repair effort. Practically overnight the contractors started coming in to help with the recovery effort. Hotels that could open filled immediately. The few restaurants that could be open were packed as the hordes of workers came to work. Rental cars were at a premium. The GMT localization project was put on indefinite hold.

Then, on October 1, an email was received from ExxonMobil requesting that the project be restarted ASAP. The plant management decided that we should take advantage of the availability of experienced operators to continue the localization process. Seems they valued capturing the operators' knowledge and experience over having them help with the clean-up, repair effort.

At the same time, a new project was started to write Process Manuals for the Furnace Area in the Olefins Plant and to localize the GMT modules for them as well. MTS ramped up the effort to satisfy this new need. The results were rather astonishing. All the GMT modules for the Ethylene Console operators have been completed - about half of the Field modules are done. All the Process Manuals for the furnaces have been written and many GMT modules have been completed. The effort on both these projects continues with expected completion of everything in the Olefins Plant by mid 2009.

In the meantime, the plant damage was even worse than initially thought and the repairs are still being made. All electrical equipment below the water line was ruined, including the process control computers. Most of the paper documents were lost. Several buildings were destroyed and are being rebuilt. It is hoped that the plant will restart within the next 60 days. MTS is proud to have helped in our own way, capturing the accumulated wisdom of the operators, to improve process operations for many years to come.

About MTS: Founded in 1967 by an ex Monsanto process control engineer John Warren, under the original name Management & Training Systems for Industry, MTS (now MTS WORLD, INC.) has completed more than 1,000 projects for 170+ companies in 34 countries and 8 languages.

Headquartered in St. Louis Missouri USA since its founding, MTS has delivered on a customized basis THE MTS SYSTEM - as the company's main service is known, to industrial sites in all types of industries. The focus of the work is the definition, documentation, training and application & measurement of the customer's specific processes and equipment.

Reflecting the spirit of the MTS mission, a number of years ago the company adopted the tag line: